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  • Cindi Denbow

The Birth of Gabriel James

Gabriel James,

I want to tell you a little story. A story of how a little boy saved a love like no other. I want to tell you your birth story....

January 3, 2013

Today is my due date. And you aren't here. For over a week my body has been having irregular contractions but nothing serious enough to sound the alarm for your arrival. You were still fairly high in my pelvis and weren't engaged yet. This just meant that all mommy's contractions were in vain since your head wasn't putting pressure on my cervix to help dilate me quicker.  Daddy and I went to our appointment with Cindi, our angel of a midwife. We thought for sure you'd be here before now, but you had something planned that not even I could have imagined. At the appointment I was 3-4 cm dilated and my cervix was looking great for your arrival. Cindi stripped my membranes and stretched my cervix to get things going. Daddy drove us home where we took a little nap before I begged him to get me out of the house. At 8pm while walking at Walmart, contractions began. And hard. We went home and I warmed up left overs. Two bites into dinner, contractions were taking my breathe away. And so it began....sit on exercise ball, pelvic rocks, deep breathing, hot shower, sit on toilet, back on ball, try to sleep (not happening!) and so on until....

January 4, 2013

Happy birthday to me!! But will we share a birthday? Contractions were picking up and I really don't think I can do this much longer (haha....actually I can). Daddy called Cindi around 2am. But like the awesome midwife she is...knew it was still too early. I remembered all the comfort measures we were taught. Daddy rubbed my back, I took hot baths and showers. I made sure to move through my labor. This helped so much. Daddy had a surprise for me. He had all our friends and family record videos to help encourage me along. Gabriel James, you have such a loving daddy. I laughed at all the videos and daddy and I laid in bed and cuddled and talked about how excited we were to meet you.

After a long night of contractions and no sleep, the back labor finally got to be too much. So at 11:30am we went to get adjusted by Dr. Amy. This helped mommy relax enough to take a 45 minute nap. By that afternoon I swore you had to be close. I mean it's normal for a first time mommy to labor for 24 hours... It's been almost 24 hours!!!

Finally, daddy talked mommy into going to the birth center so Cindi could check our progress. Daddy thought a little progress check would ease my mind and help me at least sleep. So at 6pm (after a trip to sonic for a bag of their delicious ice) we began our hour drive to the birth center. I DID NOT like the car! Daddy held my hand through each and every contraction. Encouraging me every step of the way. Despite my hopes we were still at 4 cm and we decided to go home to labor in the comfort of our home. (Back in the car we go!)

January 5, 2013

2am: After getting home with no sleep and many showers, the comfort measures just were not helping anymore. Daddy couldn't take it anymore and called Cindi. They decided that it was time to head to the birth center. Maybe a little change in scenery and some motivation from the birth team would help progress things along....

4am: We arrive back at the birth center. Daddy called The family and Nicole, our birth photographer and everyone is on their way.

Gabriel, remember when I told you that your birth saved a love like no other? Well,  a year before we conceived you, mommy was pregnant with your big brother or sister. But God does not promise us forever. We don't know what day will be our last...so never take one day for granted. Jesus called your older sibling home to Heaven. Daddy & I missed them very much...we cried and argued a lot after that. We lost our "can't eat, can't sleep, reach for the stars, World Series" kind of spark. We tried so many ways to ignite it again. Until you! The next 8 hours mommy and daddy found our spark while we prepared to meet you, son. The phrase "labor of love" took a whole new deeper meaning for our family.

Once we arrived I lost all track of time. Slowly, everyone began to arrive. Nicole first,then Meamaw and shortly later Lita, Lito & Tia Sofia. Once Cindi checked me I was at 5 cm. My water was so close to breaking on its own so mommy decided to try to break it on her own. First, I tried pushing on the toilet. And eventually moved to the birthing tub. I spent a good 2 hours pushing on and off with each contraction in hopes to break my water...but no luck. As I sat in the birth tub I knew that I had to have Cindi break my water for me. But I also knew that the pain would get worse. And there was no turning back after that. But every step of the way I never let go of daddy's hand and he never stopped encouraging me. He held the bucket when I was nauseous, wiped my face when I was sweating, fanned me when I was hot, covered me when I was cold, told me how amazing I was and how great I was doing...

Sometime that morning: Cindi broke my water and wow what a relief! Once again I began my "stay in motion" comfort measures. As I sat on the exercise ball, daddy showed me your 3D ultrasound pictures...the one of you smiling and showing off your dimples. He reminded me what I was made to do. I was made to give birth. I was made to be a mommy. I could to this.

Do you remember how special I said you are? After I tried escaping labor, and altogether testing Cindi's patience, it was time to push!! I pushed on all fours for what seemed like an eternity. I just wanted to gaze into your beautiful eyes. Later I found out I only pushed for 2 hours. Here is where I know you are born to draw people to you...

Daddy held mommy in his arms as I pushed. Lita, my mommy, held one leg encouraging me with every contraction. Tia Sofia, my sister, held my other leg awaiting your perfect entrance. Meamaw, my grandmother, was there nervous and anxious to see you born and she held the phone so that your Tia Hannah, my other sister, could watch your birth via Skype. Also in the room was Cindi, Vallie and Lynn, our amazing birth team. Christina and Brittany also were there to help assist at the end. Lito, my dad, was in the waiting room anxiously listening until you were born. And Nicole was there to capture the greatest moment of my life. The moment you arrived...

Daddy swore he didn't want to see anything but when they said "we can see the head", something flipped and daddy told them to put the mirror up. I was so tired, Lita fed me honey and Tia Sofi gave me Coke to sip on while daddy held the oxygen next to my face for a boost of energy. I was so calm. My whole body was in a state of peace. I kept hearing "you can do this! You are strong enough! It's time to meet your baby" in my head. Here we go...

I pushed and you came down. First your head. I wasn't able to dilate to the full 10 cm because I had an anterior lip on my cervix. But with each contraction that I pushed, Cindi used her fingers to pull down on the lip until you got your head out. A few more pushes. Your head comes out. One last push and you were completely out and on my chest!

1:18pm: 8lbs. 13 oz. 21 in. You were so big! You are so beautiful. You were finally here. My son. I'm a mommy. You, sweet boy, gave me the one thing I'd prayed for my whole life. Daddy cried. A lot. So did mommy. And everyone else in the room. You captured the hearts of many in that one split second. You will change lives as my life changed in that moment.

So many people thought I was crazy for having an out of hospital birth. They thought I was crazy for laboring 41 hours. Without any pain meds. But I know different. I will never forget how your birth sparked a passionate love within daddy and me once again. Or how natural everything felt. Through each step of labor I found a strength within me that will change me forever. The love hormones just took over my body when you were placed in my arms. Despite no sleep for over 72 hours, I was full of energy and awe at life. What a perfect moment with our family.

Soon after I delivered the placenta, and we were able to start nursing. You were a champ! And little did I know, you are such a good eater (as I write this you have reached your first month milestone you have gained 2 lbs 14 oz and grown an inch). Within the next hour we were eating Lita's yummy baked ziti and admiring your preciousness. Daddy finally got skin to skin snuggles while mommy took a shower and changed clothes. By 5:30 pm we were headed home. I wouldn't change anything about your perfect arrival. It was my fairy tale come true. And you are my little Prince.

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